Explore Career Paths
Recognizing your personal qualities and interests is the first step in discovering a major and career that is a good fit. Start with self-assessment. Continue by exploring careers and industries that interest you. Then, create your professional development action plan.
Major and Career Exploration
Career advisors provide exploration strategies in Choosing a Major, Charting a Career (presentation), and recommend next steps depending on where you are in choosing a major in our Major and Career Exploration (handout). The resources below can advance your exploration.
- Focus 2 Career – provides valid and reliable assessments including Work Interests-Holland Code, Personality, Values, Skills, Leisure Interests and Career Planning Readiness. Assessment results are matched to supporting majors and career options with over 1000 occupations and up-to-date career information. Access code: EAGLESLA
Career advisors guide you through the sections of Focus 2 in these instructional videos:
- Focus 2 Career Planning Foundations (instructional video)
- Focus 2 Self Assessments (instructional video)
- Focus 2 Explore the Possibilities (instructional video)
- Focus 2 Action Plan Portfolio (instructional video)
- What Can I Do With This Major? – helps you connect general academic majors with common career areas, typical employers and strategies to maximize career opportunities.
- Vault Guides to Jobs - provides numerous employer, career, internship, resume, and interviewing guidebooks. Guides cover industries such as law, consulting, investment banking, accounting, investment management, private equity, hedge funds, Internet and social media, IT and engineering, energy, health care, advertising, and more. The Vault channel provides videos that support the guides.
- Handshake Career Pathways - helps you to explore career possibilities by industry and lists currently available jobs and internships in those areas. Learn about roles and find ones that are right for you using the guide Explore Career Paths for College Students on Handshake.
- CalStatePays - find earnings for different majors after CSU graduation, explore where CSU graduates work and what they earn and find out the costs and benefits of a CSU education.
- Explore Graduate Earnings Data - Earnings and employment data for Cal State LA alumni are reported by matching student records with employer-reported wages and industry information housed in the California Employment Development Department's (EDD) Labor Market Information Division (LMID). Institutional Research and Analyses at the CSU CO provides the earning and employment data on their website. Select Los Angeles under the drop-down filter titled "Select Campus:"
- Job FutureCaster - allows you to select the jobs that are of interest to you and see what the future prospects for that job will be like and the education path that you’ll need to pursue.
Networking for Career Exploration
One of the best ways to begin exploring career paths is to have a conversation with professionals in a field you're interested in. This is called informational interviewing, where you interview professionals to learn more about a career and how to get there. Ask about the work, their pathways and the skills required in the position.
- Informational Interviews (handout)
- Roadtrip Nation Documentaries (videos) – see how people like you found work that they love.
Professional Development Plan
There are two components of creating a professional plan: beginning your professional brand and identifying the steps to active that brand.
Expressing Your Professional Brand
Think of your professional brand as a way to activate your personal mission statement. Meaning, a way to bring your personal mission statement to “life” and in a way that combines your personal and professional self.
- Building a Professional Brand: Your Professional Journey at Cal State LA (presentation)
- Develop Your Professional Brand (handout) - use this guide to create your professional brand statement.
Building Your Professional Development Plan
Think of your career/professional development plan as a way to cultivate your professional brand. Meaning, an intentional plan to grow your professional brand so that you can gain the experiences and skills you need to lead your best life.
- Six Ways You Can Get Started on Your Career Development Journey (video)
- Choose Your Own Career Adventure Checklist
- Creating a Professional Development Plan (handout)
Graduate School Preparation
Part of choosing a career path includes knowing about workplace culture and available opportunities for your degree. Employers host events where you can meet and learn more about what's possible. Look for these events on Handshake.
We offer workshops each semester to help you identify your qualities and network for career exploration. Look for them and sign up on Handshake.
Try drop-in advising to ask your initial questions or start the conversation, whether it’s related to résumés, interviews, internships and job searching or general career planning. Learn with and from your peers as career advisors help you form an initial strategy.
Wednesday: 12 – 1 p.m.
Work on an individual basis with a career advisor who will guide you through every step of the Career Development Journey and provide you with an understanding of what is important to reach your career goal and become a professional.
- Phone: Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- In-person: Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Email [email protected] or call 323-343-3237 to schedule an appointment.